Despite hundreds of billions of dollars in military spending over ten years and tens of billions in civilian aid, malnutrition in Afghanistan is still a shocking 60% among children, according to a recent Save the Children report, with 60% of Afghan children suffering stunted physical or cognitive growth. This is due partly to food insecurity which results from neglect of the traditional agricultural infrastructure.
Most previous civilian aid to Afghanistan has passed through external western contractors and their subsidiaries for projects built without the consultation of Afghan communities. 40 and 50 percent profit margins for western contractors and their subsidiaries are routine, and are responsible for the disappearance of far greater amounts of aid than the Karzai government.
Lost in the scramble is the fate and destiny of the vast majority of ordinary Afghans, who attempt to subsist on less than one dollar a day on average.
Afghan Peace Plan, filmed in Kabul, explores the connections between high unemployment, 40% and in some rural regions even higher, and the insurgency.
This film argues that a small fraction of what the US spends on military operations, directed toward rebuilding the still war-ravaged infrastructure of systems like irrigation, sewage and sanitation, thus creating jobs, would place Afghans on the path to sustainability, self-determination, and peace. Afghans are war-weary after 30 years of continuous war.
Failure to address these needs sets the stage for civil war as NATO troops prepare to withdraw.
Filmed in Kabul in 2009.
Film promo image at: http://jobsforafghans.org/afghanmarshall.png